Tag Archives: Fitness Tips

Getting Back Your Fitness Groove…Post-Vacation.

26 Jun

Well folks, after a lovely week in Hilton Head, South Carolina, it’s back to reality for me!  And I must say, it’s been a bit of a strugglebus.  Not so much in terms of getting back to my job and routine, but just getting back to focusing – I feel like I’m in a daze!  It’s amazing what a little bit of extreme R&R can do.

The week was filled with a little bit of this:

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Ahhh the sweet ocean.

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I swear we aren’t naked.

A little bit more of this…

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Oh lounging by the pool, you are amazing.

And maybe a little too much of this…

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Frosty Frog’s famous daiquiris!

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These are not the same cups as the above photo. Oops.

Yeah…

All in all, it was a fabulous trip full of family (19 of us!), food (some heavenly stuff), and relaxation (by the pool or ocean, um amazing).  Hilton Head is a long standing family tradition; Adam’s family has done it for over 30 years, so it’s something everyone really looks forward to.  During the trip I managed to get in a couple runs and even started group Jillian Michaels morning exercise.

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Group exercise in the living room!

We did the tape 4 times!  Yeah, I’m impressed too.  Unfortunately as you all know, fitness is not the cornerstone of healthy living…it’s more about the food.  All our activity didn’t quite make up for our indulgences, but hey – isn’t that what vacation is for?  I will say, I was sort of excited to return to the somewhat straight and narrow – my body truly has become accustomed to a healthier diet!  Not only accustomed, but dare I say craves it?  Win, I say.

As I’ve rudely and abruptly gotten back into the swing of things, I’ve been mentally keeping track of what has helped most.

Tips for returning to a healthy lifestyle (post-vacation sloth):

  1. Visualize it.  Often if I think about what my workout will be Monday morning, picture it in my head, plan on it, think about it, plan, plan, and just get it so stuck in my head that it’s happening.  And you know what?  I will be okay with it!  Usually if I let myself not plan on it, it’s much harder to talk myself into it when the alarm is going off.
  2. Unpack/Settle in.  Nothing is a better excuse (for me) to not work out than “my house is a mess, I have no clothes, and I haven’t even unpacked my bag!” – Nevermind that I’ve been back 3 days and the bag is still just sitting there.  I will somehow find a way to make that a valid excuse (trust me, it has worked marvelously in the past).  Remove the barrier to working out and just unpack already.  After this trip I unpacked as soon as I could and it was an amazing call.  Trust me, you’ll feel so much better.  I did!
  3. Plan food. Take extra care over the first few days to just get back to eating healthy.  The main reason?  Brain training. I want my brain to associate delicious treats and frozen drinks as a treat.  I mean, that’s what they are, right?  I’m a huge fan of everything in moderation (thanks Mom – the phrase has stuck with me!) and vacation is a perfect time to indulge in some not-so-usual treats.  But… I want to be upfront with myself that I’m no longer on vacation and it’s back to the usual.  I don’t want to let my vacation eating habits linger on for days or weeks or months.  Honestly I feel better when I eat well, and being a bit strict for the first couple days has allowed me to quickly regain those benefits!
  4. Don’t beat yourself up.  Yes, it’s important to get back at the routine and start filling your body with healthy yummy things.  But… it won’t help anyone to beat yourself up about it.  I’ve been focusing a lot on the reasons I want to maintain a healthy lifestyle in the first place.  That often is helpful in getting me back to better habits without making me feel like dirt.
  5. Just do it.  Visualization and planning will only get you so far when it comes to working out and eating well, at some point you just have to do it.  Get up and keep on keeping on.  The past few days I haven’t focused on quality workouts (yeah I’ll admit it!), more just getting up and getting in my exercise.  I’ve definitely noticed labored, slower runs, and less than stellar JM video performances, but again just glad I’m getting out there!

So far the transition back to reality has worked out well and I even managed to pack myself a stellar lunch/snack bag for work this morning.  Yeah I was so proud I took a picture to send Adam.  I’m doing it, I’m really packing my own healthy stuff and doing it!  Cue groans from those of you that have no sympathy for me losing my little chef :)

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I’m not typically a “show-your-fooder” – but I mean come on. This lunch is perfection! Fruit, veggies, yogurt, protein bar, chicken, oatmeal, and Shakeology. Amazing. Feel free to pat me on the back.

Though I have to admit I’ve had a couple flashes of returning to my old extremely lazy food prep days.

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Dang he caught me! And that non-English jargon is just Kelly-speak for excitement.

The ramen story: I love ramen (well cup noodle to be exact) because it’s fast, easy, and delicious.  Yeah and with a million grams of sodium my body loves it too (not).  Adam is always annoyed when I eat ramen because sometimes I won’t even cook it – yikes, I know.  I got rid of all my ramen during a food drive conveniently during P90X, but as a joke Adam’s parents got me more for my birthday (much to Adam’s dismay). I’ve been holding onto that ramen for a special occasion (when Adam won’t know I’m eating it).  Last night we had a dinner skype date and I opted for whole wheat spaghetti instead – yeah I’m making strides.  :)

Here’s to hoping my post-vacation tips will encourage me to continue to have a successful week!  It’s good to be back!

-Kelly

How do you cope with reality life after vacation?  What tips can you share on not being lazy and eating real meals?

Guest Post: Lyndsay’s Top 6 Tricks to Jump Start a Better You!

18 Jun

Good morning and Happy Tuesday!!  Especially happy for me off in vacation-land :)  I’m having an awesome time with Adam and his family, lounging, tanning (with sunscreen), and surprisingly getting a little fitness in too (think group fitness videos – it has been hilarious)!  I’ll be back to the real world soon enough, but until then I wanted to share an inspiring guest post from my real-life friend Lyndsay!  I stumbled upon her blog a few weeks ago (I didn’t even know she was a blogger!) and fell in love with it.  Check her out at alltheshinythingsblog. Enjoy her healthy-living tips and inspiring journey to a healthier state 0f being!

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Say hi to Lyndsay! Man alive – even her pictures are fabulous!

hello readers of races, reps, & ramblings! i write to you today over from my little world at alltheshinythingsblog!

kelly was kind enough to share her space for a day so i could share with you a little about my own weight loss journey over the last year, which has really ramped up over the last 6 months or so. i hit my first major milestone a couple weeks ago, 50 lbs down! my weight loss journey has been mainly motivated by a desire to ramp up my health & avoid the long term consequences of obesity {a word i don’t like to throw around lightly. but i was, by definition, obese. that still hurts to admit}. i was first inspired to share my journey by my own readers, who have been so overwhelmingly supportive of this journey. and i received such a positive response to my tips & tricks for my own weight loss, kelly thought it might be something her audience would like as well!

so here they are…

my top 6 tips&tricks to jump start a better you!

1. start slowly, but strictly. i downloaded the my fitness pal app, and it was a lifesaver. i didn’t know what i was doing when i started–things i thought were lowfat/lowcal still ended up being 600+ calorie meals. i set my goals, pretty aggressively, and limited myself to 1200 calories a day. the app is great because you can add in various workouts, which alter your calorie limits to include them. and it has a really useful database with most foods, or you can add your own. it also lets you track your progress, and i still enter my weight in there, to keep me honest and on a steady downward trend. i think this helped me lose my first 10 lbs or so, and quickly. its a great place to start.

2. cut down your portion size substantially. i wasted some food when i first started, and it was a price worth paying. i know people say “with all the hunger in the world, how can you WASTE FOOD??” actually, the question should be–“how is you eating more of whats on your plate going to solve any of the world hunger problems?” answer: its not. so stop kidding yourself. for me, if i ordered a sandwich or a salad or whatever when i was out and there was no one to share with, i ate half and took half home. immediately. asked for the box before i even started eating. and if it wasn’t reasonable to take home? i threw half away. cue the gasps. but let me ask you this: is your future diabetes/cardiac problems/high blood pressure/etc worth the maybe $5 you threw away? absolutely not. its a very small price to pay for health. for me it was worth it. {note: i’ve gotten much better as i’ve gone along about learning how to get smaller portions, so i now rarely waste food. but if that’s what it takes when you’re starting, do it!}

3. take your own food with you. after i started tracking calorie counts in my fitness pal, i was amazed that there really aren’t any healthy takeout options—i know kelly&adam noticed this when they were on the p90x meal plans. maybe there are a few low-cal {and high sodium} soups at various places, but in general, all meals are 600+ calories. and it sucks, right? so i started making my lunches at home and was able to keep my meals closer to 300 for a meal plus a couple 100 cal snacks throughout the day. in the end i consumed the same, but i ended up saving money and strung them out over the day so i was never hungry. i still do this all the time, and i always always always have a luna bar or a banana in my bag in case there is nothing healthy around.

4. later in this process, i started having some stomach issues and discovered i was lactose insensitive/intolerant {not allergic}. so i cut out dairy to feel better. and let me tell you–the weight FELL. OFF. i was amazed at how much of my diet had consisted of dairy–cheese was a staple for me. cubes, sticks, slices were my favorite snack. i added to every salad, sandwich, eggs, you name it. i ate tons of things with butter in them. my only redeeming grace was that i consumed skim milk {drop in the bucket, no pun intended.} so when i cut it out, the first 3-4 weeks were really hard. my food tasted so bland, and i felt like there was nothing in my house i could eat. but then, my taste buds readjusted. my pantry became filled with things that were friendly to my stomach and my waist line. and i honestly–HONESTLY–do not miss it. i thought i would never enjoy eating again. i was wrong. so if you’re desperate for a quick trick: cut out dairy for a while. it will help you. {ps. make sure you’re still getting appropriate nutrients. i felt very comfortable calculating my own and replaced things with soy/almond milk and tofu as appropriate. if not, make sure you see a dietitian/physician before making any drastic changes.}

5. don’t eat late. along with my lactose issues, i was having problems if i ate much food in the evening. i couldn’t sleep and i felt awful. so now i pretty much stop eating sometime between 4-6pm. if i get hungry after that i allow myself to still drink anything i like–i find dark chocolate almond milk is usually my go to choice, since it has enough substance to quench hunger, but doesn’t hang around long enough to hurt me. many of us consume 1/3-1/2 of our calories after 5pm–we go out to dinner, have a drink, have a bedtime snack, etc. they add up really quickly. if i removed those hazards as an option, i found i stuck to my diet so much better. also, knowing that i would stop eating early in the day made my early day choices better–i made sure i ate a well balanced breakfast and a nutritious lunch, because they were my primary meals of sustenance. it worked for me.

6. most importantly: don’t freak out when you have a bad day. in the beginning, i would get so discouraged when my weight would creep back up a pound or two or even five sometimes. but that’s the way it goes. no one is perfect. {well, some super fitness people are, and kudos to them. i’m not one. i’m super normal.} but then the next day i would get back at it, and not try to balance my bad day by starving myself, although sometimes i would eat a little less the days following until i was back on track. now i have a pretty good cadence going where about 4-5 days of the week i’m pretty good, and i always have a few days of the weeks where i eat something bad. the last two days i haven’t been able to get enough chocolate. but today i’m okay. and i guess i’ve learned to give in when i need to for the sake of the long game.

you’ll notice i don’t have any points in here about working out. why? well, to be honest, i didn’t change my fitness regimen much at first. now i run a little more, i do some fitness dvds now and then. to this point, i was enough above a healthy weight that diet changes were enough to get me here. but i’ve noticed its slowed a lot the last month, and i know whats coming: the last 25 are going to be pure sweat. i’ve been reading a lot about kelly’s experiences with p90x and getting the bug to maybe sign up for another 10k {i ran one with my dad a couple thanksgivings ago & it was SO FUN}.

i hope some of these tips help you if you’re struggling or just looking for a way to be a little healthier. i used to read all these blog posts about successful weight loss stories and wonder if i’d ever get there—and i did. and you will too!

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Lyndsay before beginning her healthy-living journey.

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Here you can see her progression.

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BOOM! Here she is now. Pretty fabulous I’d say.

Hope you enjoyed Lyndsay’s story – it was pretty amazing to get to see it happen in real life!  I can’t wait to see what she does next.  Have a wonderful Tuesday!

-Kelly

P90X: General Tips Part 1

22 Mar

For those of you getting ready jump on the P90x bandwagon, here is my list of things I wish I had known before getting started.  I’ve also included some other tips I’ve picked up along the way that have been very helpful.

  1. You really need to do the Nutrition Plan if you want great results.  
    • See here for my thoughts.
  2. Workout with a partner if you can.
    • It’s much easier if you’re accountable to someone.  Even if that person is far from you (i.e. you’re not doing the workouts together, just the program) it still helps to have someone to check-in with.  Use the message boards for more support, especially if you don’t have someone willing to join you!
  3. Weigh/Measure/Fit Test at the Beginning
    • Adam and I didn’t initially do the fit test or measure ourselves (back at round 1).  We only took pictures and our weight, thinking it was enough.  Now that we have made huge strides, we are kicking ourselves for not taking the time to do it right from the start. It may be embarrassing (the picture part was mortifying I can attest), it may be unpleasant, and it may take some time, but it is SO worth it at the end.  This is a big regret for me.
  4. Start out with some basic equipment.
    • It’s difficult to progress if you don’t have the right equipment.  You don’t need everything, but make sure you have the required equipment.  See here for more thoughts on this.
  5. Plan ahead with food!
    • Prepping our food for the week in advance has been a game-changer for us.  Our lives are then allowed to be more “normal” and less hectic.  Adam and I take the time to portion out our veggies, fruit, snacks, and some meat in advance in tupperware or plastic baggies.  Making lunches or snacks is a breeze with everything grab and go.  We usually do this once a week (Sunday evening normally).
  6. Don’t worry if you can’t do everything.
    • Tony’s saying is really true: Do your best and forget the rest!  There are many moves that I still can’t do 100% after months of doing P90X.  Every time I work out I just try to push myself a little bit harder.  It isn’t about perfection – it’s just about making it happen.  Some mornings, just pressing play is the victory and that’s okay!
  7. Find weekly inspiration.
    • P90X is hard, and at times it can be challenging to stay motivated.  At least once a week, google before/after pictures, look up resources/articles online, look up some fitness pinterest boards, or find a blog detailing someone’s progress.  Do something that reminds you why you started this journey. It’s rejuvenating and reminds you to keep bringing it.
  8. Mix up your diet.
    • It’s easy to get in a rut on the nutrition plan by sticking with what you know.  Keep trying new fruits and veggies or different recipes.  The new additions stop you from getting bored and remind you that there are plenty of P90X friendly options.  Prior to P90X, Adam refused to eat yogurt (he thought he didn’t like it) – now he is addicted.  You might discover you like more things than you thought!
  9. Hydrate (with water)!
    • This is the obvious one found everywhere, but it is so important!  Drinking enough water is crucial to success. Not only does it keep you from getting dehydrated, but it keeps you full.  Your body can often confuse hunger with thirst.  I bought a water bottle and set a certain number of refills per day.  This also helps me cut down on soda or sugary drinks.
  10. Before you start, make sure you’re ready.
    • Take the time to plan appropriately and begin P90X when you’re truly ready. I mean this in several ways.  Make sure you have your kitchen stocked.  Make sure you have the basic equipment (including measuring devices like a food scale, measuring tape, and fat caliper).  Make sure you did the fit test and took pictures.  It is better to postpone one week and have everything ready.  Adam and I sort of rushed to just get started for the first round and didn’t have our act together.  For round 2 we made sure everything was set (and even pushed back starting a week), and we’ve been so much more successful.  Set yourself up for success from the beginning!

Keep pressing play!

-Kelly

What tips do you have for getting started with P90X?